A brioche cinnamon roll enhanced with the tartness of early season apples happened in our kitchen today, and Shaina wasn’t even home.
Shaina is off today. Not by choice, but by force. Currently she is traveling around the West Coast promoting her book and talking to people and attending the International Food Bloggers Conference. Traveling though, doesn’t normally keep her from working. Shaina is known for being just as productive on the road as she is at home. Unfortunately, this time a crashed laptop has interfered with her schedule.
Normally, if she were home, I’d offer my services in the tech support department and get things up and running again, but the 1600 miles between me and her laptop make diagnosis and repair a problem. So, instead, I’ll jump in and try to do some work for her and see what it’s like to live her life for the day.
Who likes apples?
Great, because we happen to be having an early apple season in Minnesota, a warm spring and plenty of rain this summer have sped things up and the picking has begun.
For my day job, I’m lucky enough to get outside almost daily to do some of my work, and it just so happens that I know of a secret apple tree or two that I can swipe a few apples from. Yesterday I picked a couple without being sure what I would do with them. This morning, I remembered that we had some dough left over from an Artisan Bread in 5 brioche project earlier in the week (langoustine lobster rolls with homemade brioche buns), and my wheels started turning.
First I coarsely diced up four peeled apples and mixed them with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and cooked them down with butter and let them cool. Later, I rolled out the dough into a very thin rectangle, covered it with the cooked apples, rolled it up and cut it into eight even pieces. These were then placed, end up, in a small baking pan lined with parchment paper and set aside to rise.
Right now Shaina is on a plane from Seattle to Portland and I’ve spent the day living her life, getting a kid to swimming lessons, taking another one to a meeting at school, making breakfast and lunch, cleaning up, baking, cleaning up, taking pictures, blogging, and on and on. Now it’s nap time; not mine. At least I don’t think so, though that would be nice, wouldn’t it?
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 1/4 teaspoons granulated yeast (1 package)
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted (12 tablespoons)
3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
egg wash (1 beaten egg + 1 tablespoon water)
caramel sauce for topping, optional
For the apple filling (this will fill 1/2 the dough and make one pan of rolls):
4 apples, peeled and diced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
4 tablespoons butter
In a 5-quart bucket with a lid (though not airtight), mix together the yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter. Stir in the flour with a spoon or dough whisk. Cover loosely and place in a warm area to rise for two hours. Once risen, transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
When ready to bake, line a square baking pan with parchment and prepare the filling. Mix together the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom in a bowl. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add in the apple mixture and cook until apples soften and a thick sauce is formed, about 10 minutes.
Remove half the dough from the container, using a knife to cut the two pieces apart. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a long rectangle about 1/4″ thick. Spread the apples over the rough and roll the dough lengthwise to create a tube of spiraled dough. Slice nine 1 1/2″ pieces. Place the sliced dough spiral side up on the parchment-lined pan. Set in a warm place and allow to rise for 1 hour.
When the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 350º F. Brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash, and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven. Serve warm with warm caramel sauce.
Makes 9 rolls.
Truths from Shaina:
- I had Ole take this post down because my perfectionism stated it needed the recipe card. I am republishing now that I added it. Naughty.
- I’m still out a computer, but the new one should be here today. Nothing like being disconnected and halfway across the country from home. Still, I had a great time on my tour, and it looks like I’ll probably be continuing to add a few events here and there, so watch the book tour page for updates!
- Haven’t noticed Ole posting before now? He writes semi-frequently under the “From the Patio” section.